Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Malabar!
Three questions with Lyn Girdler, founder of Malabar.
Why did you start your business?
Malabar is a 35-year-old home textile brand that was started in the UK and has always been focused on hand-woven, natural fiber textiles. I started with the company in 2001 and spearheaded its launch and growth in the US. In 2016, I became the owner of Malabar and worked hard to guide it through a re-birth of sorts. Part of that strategy was to move our office from Bethel (where it had been since 2001) to South Norwalk.
The location I chose; 1 North Water street, was a retail space, and, while I wasn't focused on opening a retail store at the time, it seemed unfair to the community to close it off and keep it appointment only for interior designers. So, in 2020 I launched House of Malabar and opened our eponymous storefront. The space is both a showroom for our to-the-trade only textiles who can bring their clients and take samples & a retail shop where we sell our own designed products, including bags and table linens as well as products from small makers in the US, and a curated selection of unique items I've sourced from my travels in India.
What is your best-selling product/service?
Our in-house accessories brand - Love Nomadic, has always had a local following. The bags are all made from our deadstock Malabar textiles; very good quality, upholstery grade, handwoven cotton, and responsibly made. However, we have a unique selection of candles that I've not seen in other stores, and our handblocked table linens and napkins have been quite popular.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
Currently, the majority of the product we sell is in-house, but I'm always on the lookout for the right local maker and that's a big focus for 2023. Please apply!
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!